We provide a FREE vintage woodworking tool valuation. Send us the photographs of your woodworking tools or a description and we can provide a valuation and an Old Tool Shop buying price. Then you can make an informed decision about selling them or keeping them.

Why is buying price so much lower than the valuation?

The buying price is based on many things. The more information we have the better the valuation is. Where we are working from a couple of basic photographs, it is likely that the price we offer will be low as it’s difficult to assess condition from these. That said if we arrive and find the tools in better condition than we have assumed, we will compensate you. What we call good condition is original tools that we can sell with minimal work. It doesn’t mean it’s worth polishing them first, because unless you know what you are doing you may adversely impact the value of a tool.


Almost half the value of a plane can be in the blade. If we can’t see if the blade is original we have to assume it’s not. The condition of planes is also important. Not so much how clean or rust free they are, but whether they are intact, complete and original. Rust can be a problem where it has had eaten into metal surfaces. With older tools finding replacement parts is very difficult so this will significantly affect the price. Breaks in wooden handles will obviously affect the price, but the type of break can also affect it. A clean recent break can be relatively easily repaired, but if the break is old, worn, missing pieces or dirty fixing it becomes much harder. If we can’t tell the condition from the pictures we have to assume the worst.

In wooden bodied planes we are mostly interested in the condition of the wooden surfaces, handles, the blade and the fit of the wedge. Running a wooden bodied plane through a jointer will not make it more appealing to us. We ideally looking for original quality tools which have been looked after. If they have over ‘restored’ or left outdoors in the sun and rain for any time, it’s unlikely we can restore them to their original condition.


With saws the tooth pattern is important as reinstating teeth is a major undertaking only tackled by a skilled person. The straightness of the plate is also a factor. Gradual bends can be fixed. Sharp bends or dents are almost impossible to fix. Missing nuts can be very hard to replace. Wooden handles can be repaired, but like planes it depends on the type and age of the break.


The key things we look at in chisels is the condition of the steel and the condition of the handles. The work required to get a chisel cutting again is very dependent on the condition of the steel. Ideally, we want to be able to sharpen them ready for use. Pitting caused by corrosion can be a major problem on some surfaces of the steel while on others it’s less important. If we can’t be sure, we have to assume the worst; the steel is going to need significant work. Most people want original handles, so if yours is damaged, missing or not the original handle it’s going to affect value. If there is evidence that a chisel has been coarsely ground on an electric grinder this will adversely impact the price, because power grinding can overheat chisels and leave the steel softer than it should be.